In recent years, distracted driving has come to the forefront in causing auto accidents with injuries and fatalities. However, there are longstanding risks that have always been known precursors to collisions – specifically drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. Since alcohol reduces reaction time, inhibits judgment and can make a person drowsy, there is no denying how problematic it can be on the road. In the past several years, alcohol has been found to play a significant role in fatalities in the area.
PBOT assesses fatal auto accidents
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), alcohol continues to be a major problem on the road and is leading to a troubling number of fatal accidents. In 2020 and 2021, there were 43 such accidents in which law enforcement labeled alcohol as a critical factor. In addition, the numbers for the past two years are still being analyzed and may indeed be worse than initial assessments.
Part of the recent spike is believed to be due to the ongoing national challenges that have changed the landscape of how people work, resulted in emptier roadways and law enforcement being less vigilant about certain behaviors. This is not limited to Oregon as it has been a national concern. Even prior to the recent situation, alcohol contributed to more than one-third of Portland road fatalities between 2015 and 2019. Nearly 200 people were seriously hurt in these accidents. Officials are imploring drivers to understand the nature of the risks they take when they get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol and that the solutions start with them.
Learn the available options
Auto accidents are always a possibility when taking to the road as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or bicyclist. Often, they happen as a matter of circumstance such as inclement weather or an unfortunate and unexpected chain of events. In other instances, they occur because drivers were reckless, negligent, distracted or drunk. The recent information provided by PBOT emphasizes that drinking and driving remains a problem and people need to be cognizant of it. Those who have been involved or impacted by what they suspect was a drunk driving accident should know their options to cover medical costs, lost income and more after injuries and fatalities. Discussing the incident with those who are experienced in these cases is vital to formulate a comprehensive strategy and move forward.